Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

“Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind” - Jim Seals & Dash Crofts



It was nice to hear “Summer Breeze” on the radio the other day. It certainly takes me back to a time and place…one that now seems exceedingly serene.

Not long ago I purchased a set of Heidi Swapp fabric flags at Michaels. The pack has twelve 4” x 5.5” natural cotton pennants held together with white cord. They are perfect for painting and stenciling. The flags easily slide across the cord which allows you to choose how many you wish to use. I decided to create a triptych. With the melody of “Summer Breeze” blowing through my mind, I knew my next project needed to caress the spirit of summer the song so effortlessly portrays.

After spraying my poster board with adhesive I lined up the flag so I could create a read-across of continuous images. I like using natural sponge with acrylics. The textures they leave behind can lend a lot of interest to a design. Using a rough sponge, I covered the flags with warm yellow acrylic adding lemon highlights. Once the flags dried I started the stenciling.



The Bodacious Pods from the Artistcellar Playful Pods series were perfect. I altered the stencil with painter’s tape and used the pods to fit the space. The languid movement across the flags was just what I wanted…like a summer breeze. The Traditional Japanese Dragonfly stencil finished my design with another image that speaks summer magic to me. Diamonds and dots completed the project.

I can’t wait to hang the summer flags next to my Prayer Flags. How do you embrace the essence of your favourite season in your work? I hope the tranquil spirit of summer envelopes you and lasts well into the seasons to come.

MATERIALS USED

Hello Everyone,

Right now, I need both a creative outlet, and a way to bring a sense of calm to my nervous system. I unconsciously created a journal page with a color palette that is not my norm. I’d like to share it with you in this post, to hopefully inspire and encourage you to trust your intuition as you create.

Supplies Used:

 

To apply the Distress Stain, I used a paper plate palette and dabbed the color onto it.

I then used a cosmetic wedge to grab the color of the stain to work through the stencil.

This worked well for me. In the past, when I’ve tried to use the Distress Stain directly through the stencil, it was too wet, and it seeped under the stencil.

I liked how light and airy these pods were, so I decided to give them some space to breathe.

Choosing the blue acrylic paint for the background was sort of a surprise to me. Once I used it, it felt like water, which made me relax.

Next, I decided to add more pattern over that blue. So, I grabbed the Block Series stencils.

What I loved about the “Cross T” stencil was that I could easily line it up where I left off, to continue the pattern.

And again here:

I decided this all looked like a plate on a tablecloth, so I added a yellow napkin, too.

Since I was thinking of nature and the ocean, a thought came to me with a title for this journal page. So, I wrote, “I am calling this ‘Respite with Yellow Napkin.’ Beach, sea, water, land, color, calm the self.”

I created another page more quickly by cleaning my stencil with a baby wipe, and using up some the extra paint on my palette.

Sometimes these are my favorite pages, as they are free, loose, and expressive!

Thank you for being here and reading this post.

I am sending creative vibes out to you, so may also experience a sense of calm and inner peace while you play with your art supplies!

Blessings to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

“It’s what we call a dolce pazzia…a sweet madness. Once you feel it, you will never want to leave”. – "Juliet" by Anne Fortier

Travel and romance. To me the words are synonymous. I have wanted to use the photo of the woman with the dreamy expression from my collection of Victorian postcards in a project. At last I found a place she might call home.

I will soon be facilitating a collage workshop at a local library. We will use discarded book covers as a substrate.  I was given a deep blue cover to see how it would inspire my work. The map of the romantic city of Venice from the Old World Maps series was perfect for what I had in mind. I started the project by stenciling in a subdued colour palette of blues and aqua to allow the rest of the collage elements to pop. This is another reason why I love the Artistcellar collection of stencils. They can be bold and the focal point of your work. Or they can be subtle, but just as vital to your art. The inside book cover was smooth and didn’t drink up the acrylics. As I had hoped, there was very little shift in colour.

I have been experimenting lately with transfers on various types of paper. This time I transferred the photocopy of the woman and added it to a blank shipping tag covered with a layer of gesso. I was pleased with the finish and the way the colour complimented the background. I surrounded the tag with textured paper I received from the Netherlands in a paper swap. The gold foil was reclaimed from greeting cards. Cherry tree twigs blown into the yard with the last storm, wrapped in tea stained gauze, became part of the collage. It’s great that with this type of work trash can become a real treasure!

I usually have tiny jewelry tags on my table when I am working. They are a great place to try techniques or to deposit left over paint. I chose a few from this collection. After masking out parts of the Playful Pods and Quasicrystals stencils, I added glittering dots of colour to the design.

I am captivated by the woman’s wistful smile. Could she be thinking of a journey in the making? Or is she returning to her dolce pazzia…the sweet madness of a certain time and place?

We are fortunate that creating Art allows us the freedom to follow our inspiration wherever it may lead. The door is open just waiting for our ideas to burst through. Who is your muse today?

MATERIALS USED:

Its my turn again! I am hoping you are all doing well my Lovelies!

This weeks play time ended up totally different than what I had first planned to start out with. The start of my page I wanted to be sweet, maybe a girl with a teddy or something equally sweet. But my page turned into this worried girl.

At first I was frustrated and was going to start over, but after some deliberation I realized this is what a journal is for. I may not write my feelings down in words but the face I painted shows how I have been feeling as of late. I have multiple family members that have medical issues that are very scary right now and this causes me to worry, and worry causes anxiety. These are the times when I should be working in my journal the most but I tend to lock up and it's a fight for me to get into my studio, but once I do I feel all of my anxiety start to melt away. Sometimes I forget what the best medicine for me is.

To start I used my Stathmore Visual Journal, starting with a page painted in a sloppy black layer. My girl and the idea I had for my page were inspired by another artist, Mindy Lacefield. So I started my girl using a palette knife to lay down some white Dina Wakley paint for her head and shoulders, I then used some of the other vibrant paint colors from Dina to create shadows. I used my Generals Scribe-All to add definition to some of the features. I then went in with more of the paints to add more definition using brushes and palette knife.

For the background I used a big paint brush to 1st do a layer of orange to which I added some stenciling. I decided to cover it and I used another layer of paint using white this time. I decided I needed a bigger shape in the back ground so I used Bodacious Pods stencil from the Playful Pods series using orange, then using green to fill in space.

I love how this page turned out, it shows how I was feeling but also shows the bright outlook in my background, which encompasses my fake it until I make it way of life! And so far I'm winning!

So I guess my lesson learned is that I need to use my journal as way to better myself instead of worrying what I think everyone else will like! If you would like to watch my process take a look below at my video up on youtube.

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!!!

- Shana Banana

Wouldn't you know we're riding on the Marrakesh Express
Wouldn't you know we're riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh
All on board the train, all on board the train
All on board – Graham Nash

We are in a cycle of dark dreary days filled with rain and humidity. Not the most advantageous to inspire creativity on these late Spring days. I needed an escape!  I wanted sun! I wanted warmth! I wanted exotic locations! With a bit of imagination and the best tools at my disposal I magically escaped the monotonous and traveled into a world of colour and exploration.

Opening the box from Artistcellar that arrived at my door was like grabbing my passport and getting on board to an exciting journey! Included with the supplies was the CHRIS COZEN - PLAYFUL PODS SERIES stencils. As with all of the Artistcellar stencils, they are made to last and perform perfectly with a variety of media. Clean up is quick and easy, leaving the stencil in like-new condition. I have been hearing a lot about the use of Rubber Cement. It seems to be the “go to” everyone is discussing…from Google+ Communities to Workshop details that land in my Inbox.

I selected the Bodacious Pods stencil from the series. They reminded me so much of Moroccan pouffes…the lovely Ottoman footstools that take lounging to the pinnacle of relaxation.  In my collection is an exquisite image of Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee’s "Leila", which I purchased on a Digital Collage Sheet. The woman, painted in the Oriental style, at last found a home.

My idea was to give the art a rough, almost sun worn finish similar to the buildings I photographed in Marrakesh. I chose a heavy watercolour paper for the substrate.  I dabbed the rubber cement through the stencil with my fingers…varying the amount from thick to thin, hoping this application would produce a mottled effect when covered with paint.

The rubber cement dried relatively quickly, even for impatient me. As an impulse buy, I recently purchased  pearlescent watercolours. I go weak in the knees for anything with a shimmer, and the selection of colours looked scrumptious. I covered the paper with a wash. I chose all the gorgeous Bohemian colours available on my pallet: Hot Pink, Vermilion Orange, Cyan Blue, Turquoise and Bright Violet! I blended the colours using a tool new to me… The SAKURA KOI WATERBRUSH. If you haven’t tried it you must! The brush is made of flexible nylon fibers that are fed with water from a refillable reservoir. When I was finished blending, the paper was once again set out to dry.

With my fingers and an eraser I removed the rubber cement. The result was as I had hoped…patchy, worn, sun kissed, with a dazzling shimmer…just as I remember my travels in Morocco.  It would be the perfect home for Leila. I scanned the altered paper and revised the image of the woman. I wanted to keep as much of the paper without further alteration, so I only added Graham Nash’s lyrics…the inspiration for the piece…surrounding her.

Art, I am sure you will agree, can take us to the places as far and as wide as our imagination. With the proper tools at our fingertips we can re-experience the wonders of travels past. Or we can dream of places we’ve yet to see.  Either way, won’t you join me? All on board the train, all on board the train!

MATERIALS USED

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